All the weird things says about Auburn's draft prospects

acarlson@ledger-enquirer.comMay 2, 2014 

Tre Mason performs a drill for NFL scouts at Auburn's Pro Day in March.

ZACH BLAND — Auburn University

NFL draft profiles are a strange genre — part history, part analytics and part ridiculata. These 500-ish word snapshots try to do something very large, a pro-con breakdown of every player entering the draft topped with a projected position within it, and so occasionally do a lot of silly little things instead. Sometimes that silliness tips further.

Consider this description of Texas A&M's star quarterback, Johnny Manziel: "Has an unorthodox body type with marginal height, rounded shoulders and an underdeveloped body. ... Carries a sense of entitlement and prima-donna arrogance seeking out the bright lights of Hollywood."

It's analysis that borders on high inanity: grading football players like farm animals instead of potential employees, and then making sure to clarify if one of the farm animals has children or a famous father or a dead father or siblings who've been to prison.

Here are some of the highlights from what has to say about Auburn's draft prospects. The good, the bad and the weird.

Steven Clark, punter:

• "Fields the ball cleanly and adjusts well to off-target snaps. Works hard and studies his craft. Handles pressure well. Very durable."

• "Ball does not explode off his foot."

• "Has short arms."

• "Big-bodied boomer who is most effective on a short field."

Draft projection: Priority free agent

Chris Davis, cornerback:

• "Has a son."

• "Fills quickly and likes to hit. Tough pound-for-pound. Takes on bigger receivers with aggression and sets a hard edge."

• "Emotional, energetic field presence. Respected team leader."

• "Is short, short-armed and very stiff-hipped."

• "Gets caught playing flat-footed and peeking."

• "His intangibles, toughness against the run and ability to factor as a punt returner will allow him to carve out a role."

Draft projection: Rounds 6-7

Dee Ford, defensive end:

• "Anticipates the snap very well and has a long second step. Plays with urgency and keeps working to the quarterback. Outstanding energy and work ethic."

• "Beat Texas A&M RT Cedric Ogbuehi for two sacks to close out a 45-41 upset victory in 2013."

• "Thin-framed, lacks bulk and anchor strength to dig in vs. the run."

• "Not comfortable moving in reverse. Has consistently been dinged with injuries and has never made it through a full season healthy."

• "Respected, defensive tempo-setter. Distinguished by his effort, hustle and pursuit."

• "Has added more than 50 pounds to his frame since arriving on campus and has demonstrated the desire, work habits and competitiveness to develop into a productive edge rusher if he can stay healthy and is programmed to go get the quarterback only."

Draft projection: Top 50

Tre Mason, running back:

• "His father, Vincent 'DJ Maseo' Mason, is a member of the Grammy Award-winning hip hop group De La Soul."

• "Can jump-cut abruptly and change the angle of pursuit. Darts through holes — excellent stop-and-start quickness."

• "At times dances more than he should instead of taking what the defense gives. ... Can take better care of the football — eight fumbles the last two seasons."

• "Fits in multiple schemes and has the chops to make an impact as a rookie."

Draft projection: Round 2

Cody Parkey, kicker:

• "Converted multiple game-winning field goals and has shown he can handle pressure. Efficient squib kicker. Works at his craft."

• "Long-range distance is shaky and struggles converting beyond 50."

• "Three-by-two, soccer-style kicker with enough leg strength to warrant a chance in a camp."

Draft projection: Priority free agent

Jay Prosch, fullback:

• "Exceptional weight-room strength. Outstanding peripheral blocking vision — scans wide and locates."

• "Good finisher. Is fairly light on his feet for such a big, strong player."

• "Robotic, overly muscled, tightly wound mover. Has very short arms."

• "An old-school fullback with explosive power to pave the way as an iso-lead blocker and enough speed and athletic ability to carve a niche as a core special-teams performer."

Draft projection: Round 7-Priority free agent

Greg Robinson, offensive tackle:

• "Left school early to support his family — his father passed away in April '13, his mother struggles to make ends meet and he has four siblings, two of which have been incarcerated for selling drugs."

• "Has long arms and excellent overall body mass. Outstanding run blocker with the strength and power to wash down half of the line."

• "Could stand to refine his technique in pass protection and do a better job finishing blocks."

• "Aggressively overextends and occasionally loses balance and falls off blocks."

• "Big, strong, athletic, overpowering left tackle with the raw potential to become a premiere, franchise left tackle."

Draft projection: Round 1 (top 10)

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